Helen or Eleanor Spurrett née Langworth, the widow of London haberdasher Nathaniel Spurrett, lived for eleven years after the death of her husband, dying soon after she made her will in November 1625. By this time Helen had moved from London to Kent, though the precise location is unclear. Like her husband’s will, Helen Spurrett’s final testament offers important clues about her links with other Catholic sympathisers – in Helen’s case, with some of the most prominent recusants in the land. In this post I’m sharing my transcription of Helen Spurrett’s will, and in the next post I’ll discuss what it reveals about those connections.
In the name of God Amen the Eighteen daie of November 1625 I Elnor Spurrett in the Countie of Kent widow late the wife of Nathaniell Spurrett citizen of London deceased being sicke of bodie but of good and pfect memorie, thanks be to God for the benefitt, doe make and ordayne this my last will and Testament in manner and forme following First I comend my soule to the tender mercies of the Almightie God hoping by the merritts and passion of my Saviour Jesus Christ to be made ptaker of the kingdome of heaven and enjoy life everlasting, And I comend my bodie to the earth to be interred at the discretion of my Executor. Touching my worldlie estate which consisteth wholly or principally of two Annuities or rent Charges my will is that my debts dischardged which amount to seaventie pounds or there abouts, I give and bequeath to my daughter Frances Spurrett three hundred pounds to be paid unto her at such tyme as she shall fully accomplish the age of sixteen yeares compleat and that in the meane while she be mainteyned wth the pfitt of the saied three hundred pounds or wth so much thereof as shall seemed to my Executor fit and convenient and when she shall happen to Marry then my will is shee shall have two hundred pounds more for her better preferment and augmentacon of porcon yf so my Annuities and other Goods can conveniently beare the same my debts and charges of funeralle defrayed Item I give to my saied daughter Franncis Spurrett all my apparel save what I have otherwise disposed of by word of mouthe provided always that whereas my worldly estate consisteth as is saied before of annuities debts & rent charges wch for that they be subject to casualties and losses my will that if any such losse or detriment shall happen by badd debtoures or other accident, my Executor doing his best for the defending the wronge and for recovering the damages that then for saving my Executor indemnified my will is that my former legacie to my daughter Francis Spurrett be ratablie [?] to the proporcon of losses rebaited which course and manner of dealinge I will also have observed in and wth all my other legacies ensuing Item I doe give to my servant Martha Kilsby Thirtie shillings To Elizabeth Knapp that attendeth me in my sicknes fortie shillings And to Elnor Gardner my servant heretofore five poundes Ite I give to my brother Thomas Langworth my sister Mary Hawkins my sister Ann Purkell to each of them three poundes for buying them a ringe a peece Item I give to Jane Woodworth widdowe the some of twentie pounds whereof there are give already paied her for recompense of the trouble and losses wch her husband fell into by reason of his being executor to my late husband Nathaniell Spurrett Item I give to my cosen Roger Owin three pounds Item I give to Mr Ardent of Greenwich a ringe of a marke pallowe [?] and to his wife my silke damas gowne, to discharge these legacies funeral expenses and for paying all my debts I doe give and bequeath both my Annuities one from my Lord Winsor the other from Mr Newell to my Executor Thomas Rooper second sonne to Sir William Rooper of Eltham in Kent to whome also I give the overplus yf any arise more above the discharge of my legacies my funeral and other debts In witness whereof I hereunto doe subscribe my name and put to my seale the daie and yeare above written who also are witnesses that the word (Nevell) in the margent was added for replaycing the blott in his name in the will Willm Colleton Francis Unwynn Marth. Kilsby Elizabeth Knapp